Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Monetize" the blog

There was a recent article in the WSJ that described the business of blogging, and how many people were bloggers, called "America's Newest Profession: Bloggers for Hire". Although the methodology has been questioned (and the author put up more details of how he calculated the numbers) the conclusions were interesting:

1. There are 20 million bloggers in the USA
2. 1.7 million are profiting from this work
3. 452,000 use blogging for their primary source of income

Per the article, which uses some information from Technorati, an online company that rates blogs, if you have 100,000 unique visitors a month you can earn $75,000 / year.


I find this to be very interesting. From Dan's experience (mine is more limited) and discussion with the guys at Chicago Boyz, which is a much bigger blog than ours, it seems like these revenue numbers are very high. From what I have heard, the typical blog gets peanuts from click-through revenues on ads.

There is a different world of people who care about their clicks, who sweat their search engine position, and intentionally TRY to gather viewers by posting about celebu-tards and the rest. That isn't us.

However, if we get 10,000 visitors a month, and say 5000 are unique (that's about right for where we are now), would we earn 1/20 of $75,000? I highly doubt it - the curve probably isn't linear, you probably get crumbs until you start getting a lot of viewers, but I don't really know.

If I really thought that this blog could earn 1/20 of $75,000, or say a bit around $4000 / year, then maybe we'd consider it and then donate the $ to some worthy charity, probably around veterans or the troops or something like that.

This is just a thought experiment, I really don't think we'd get more than scraps, but the numbers did catch my eye.

6 comments:

Dan from Madison said...

Heh, if those numbers were even close to real life I would monetize in a second and donate a significant portion to the troops and other charities. If I invested the time and energy into it, I think we could eke out maybe...maybe...$100 per month out of this thing. A very poor return for the time, and of course you sell part of your soul by doing it.

But it all depends on clickthrough, or doing something like blogads where you actually sell adspace.

Carl from Chicago said...

Oh we could make a lot more than $100 if we wanted to sell our soul.

But without changing anything, like you said, it would be quarters.

James R. Rummel said...

"From Dan's experience (mine is more limited) and discussion with the guys at Chicago Boyz, which is a much bigger blog than ours, it seems like these revenue numbers are very high. From what I have heard, the typical blog gets peanuts from click-through revenues on ads."Think about it for one moment, please.

How much of your Christmas shopping is done through surfing the blogs? Do you visit blogs specifically to find birthday gifts for your family? If you need clothes, food, hardware, auto repair, or anything, do you start scrutinizing the ads found on blogs to meet your needs?

How much have you actually spent on goods and services that you found through the ads on blogs, anyway?

Ads are a function of economic activity. If they don't attract much by the way of sales, if they don't increase the profits of a business all that much, then the business isn't going to pay much for the ad.

I don't think the numbers quoted in the article are inflated or optimistic, I think they are insane!

James

Jonathan said...

Insane is about right. I think some of the very focused gadget and hobby blogs can make money if they have high traffic, but the typical political or cat blog will earn little. CB probably clears $200-300/year after hosting expenses, and that's from a combination of BlogAds, Google ads and Amazon referral fees. That's on maybe 800-1200 unique visitors/day (I haven't looked recently). Obviously not worth the trouble. I could probably boost revenues to a few grand a year by publishing text ads, improving the blog's search-engine friendliness, and so forth, but it's not worth my time. I'm sure there's money to be made, but not by casual bloggers.

James R. Rummel said...

"I'm sure there's money to be made, but not by casual bloggers."And the average of 1,000 visitors a day that The Chicago Boyz enjoys would probably seem to most bloggers as anything but casual!

Even so, at best CB could pull in $4 or $5 a day. It would pay for the happy meal Jonathan ate at lunch, but that would be about it.

James

Carl from Chicago said...

Well, that's about what we figured.

Maybe I will build a strictly tiki-focused blog as my road to riches!